The American Flag…

I am an avid NBA fan. I have 4 seats on the 3rd row for the Utah Jazz games. My wife is an even bigger fan. She almost never misses a game and always knows the stats of all the players and other teams we play. Its one of those things I do with my wife that is actually a “MAN” thing to do :) I am not saying that I don’t like to watch “The Bachelor” with my wife (Ok, I hate it and want to jab an icepick into my head when I watch it with her), its just not as good as a Jazz game.

I have to comment on something really quick just to make sure I am not off base. Every game they bring out someone new to sing the National Anthem. They have a giant flag hanging in one corner of the building and when it starts everyone in the arena turns, puts their hands over their heart, and looks at the flag out of respect for the enormous sacrifice others have made to put our country where it is today. Everyone does this except 90% of the NBA players. The 10% that do put their hand over their hearts are usually the older ones (Just an observation).

Now maybe there is some reason they don’t do this and not all players are American citizens as a decent amount of players are foreign Nationals, but to me this is the height of disrespect. If you are an American citizen then you damn well should show some respect for our flag and country. If 25,000 people coming to watch you play basketball show respect at every game then the players can and should as well. If I am wrong please tell me where? It makes me angry!
Matt Heaton /

22 Responses to “The American Flag…”

  1. You are absolutely, 100% correct in your statement Matt!

    What bugs me more is in the NFL, when the National Anthem is played in most stadiums *before* the players are on the field! Surprisingly, the one team that does this every week are my Patriots! My guess is logistics of the TV broadcast – nothing happens in the NFl just by chance – but I still believe it is wrong.


  2. Matt,

    You are 100% correct.

    I think that all of the money and popularity goes to their heads and they lose respect for others and a lot of the things that made this country great.

    Of course some didn’t have respect to begin with.

    Charles Oxford

  3. If you support their action by buying tickets (paying their salary), then don’t complain.


    Vote with your wallet. Tell them that you won’t be buying tickets next year, because the players disrespect your country.

    Can you imagine if 25% of the buyers did that?

  4. Jason says:

    That IS a shame. I was watching “the longest day” this morning. Sometimes it’s easy to forget the sacrifice others have made to create this great country – even while one is reaping the benefits. War movies tend to help me remember what goes into keeping that flag such a strong symbol of freedom.

  5. Blake Snow says:

    You’re not wrong, but the situation poses a minor dilemma. Though I agree people should know there history and solute the flag, no one should be forced to. It’s an interesting observation about the players, however. And I know it’s clearly not “hip” to be keen on the US right now. Sadly, hip generally trumps everything, even patriotism.

  6. Arubalisa says:

    You are not wrong. But instead of complaining about it, why not show the team’s owners your displeasure by dumping those season tickets.

    It is YOUR (I know hard earned :-) money paying the SALARIES of those arrogant players who disrespect the American flag.

  7. Marc says:

    Without a doubt during the National Anthem everybody should stop what they’re doing, remove their hats and (when possible) face the flag. If they are doing this then they are being respectful.

    Putting your hand (or hat) over your heart however is a bit different. Here in Canada it’s not something that is commonly done. If they’re not puting their hand over their heart maybe they come from a country or a part of the USA where it’s not usually done.


  8. Isaac Grover says:

    Hooray for saying something. When I graduated from a smaller California high school in 1995, there were only two out of 247 graduates who removed their caps for the National Anthem – myself and my archnemesis. Over 80% were Hispanic, which may have something to do with it, but it still is a sore spot with me. In the forthcoming eras of increased irritation with politics and the government in general, patriotism is becoming more rare. When was the last time you all cried seeing the Vietnam Veteran’s Wall in Arlington? Or even a picture of it? If you didn’t, then you need to learn what those veterans and all veterans have gone through to guarantee the life you live. Say what you will about the current political situation, the state of the economy, etc. The fact is that we *still* have it better here than in other countries.

  9. Gilbert says:

    No, you’re right Matt. In fact, *all* the basketball players who are paid more than the national average income per year should be required, by contract, to lead the entire stadium in publicly showing respect for the USA by doing as you describe. Everyone, including non-citizens, who goes to an American school, or works for an American company, or lives on American soil, should show gratitude for the benefits they receive by associating themselves with America. You mention the flag behavior of foreigners but I’m more angered by the lack of respect shown by American citizens. This especially in light of the many immigrants (legally entered or not) who show their love for this country and what it stands for far more sometimes than our “elected leaders”.

  10. Marc says:

    It’s not just good manners, technically it’s the law…..

  11. Matt, you’re absolutely correct about disrespect to the US Flag and the National Anthem. It’s too bad that people who take so much from our country have so little respect for it…

    How can you change this behaviour? You’ve take the first step – highlighting the issue in a public forum. Perhaps you could up the ante a bit by sending your blog post to the major Utah newspapers. And send it to the owner of the Utah Jazz. Perhaps you could generate some discussion in the sports pages. There are dozens of ways you could escalate the issue. It just depends how strongly you feel about it.

    Of course, the most committed action would be to withdraw your support of the organization. Look at what’s happening to Don Imus. His public disrespect is losing listeners and major advertisers. He may even lose his show if support doesn’t develop. He’s paying for his mistake, and rightly so. Persons disrespecting the US Flag and the National Anthem, however, do not receive the same treatment. Too bad.

  12. P.Wolfe says:

    You are right on! I would say someone needs to bring this observation to their bosses and get things in line.

    Living abroad for 16 years has given me a feel for how others (from other countries) see us and why the US is such a great country. I am proud to be American. Thanks for standing up and letting people know their needs to be a change.

  13. Rick says:

    Oh for pity’s sake – get over the sanctimonious zealotry you lot.

    Now I’m not American (English actually), but surely you are the land of the free, or at least supposed to be.

    If those players don’t wish to “respect the flag” they should be allowed to exercise their democratic right not to do so. Or do others’ democratic rights go out the window when they deviate from yours?

    I think it is a terrible shame that in a nation founded on the principle of freedom of speech that dissenters and protestors are now segregated away from presidential motorcades in so-called “Freedom of speech zones” using the hackeneyed excuse of them being threats to national security. Surely your whole country is supposed to be a Freedom of Speech zone? (the observant will please ignore my plagarism of The Practice). I think Michael Moore had it right when he said the administration has tricked the general populus into being paralysed by fear and is using that to slowly strip you of the rights your ancestors fought my country for.

  14. Gilbert says:

    Rick – I agree with you, garbage like a “free speech zone” is a modern version of oppressive government policies our founders rebelled against. What Micheal Moore said is exactly what has happened.

    As to respecting the flag, democratic rights have another side: democratic responsibilities – including voting, jury duty, and respecting the flag – as the law requires, as Marc pointed out. The right not to do so belongs with the paying customers at a sports event. On the other hand, the people hosting the event, especially players, have a duty to set a positive example – this takes precedence over their individual rights whenever they are in the public eye.

    Further, non-citizens have no democratic rights. Such persons should be subjected to a higher standard of patriotism towards their adopted country, just as fully-documented immigrants and citizen-applicants are while they are becoming citizens.

  15. got_u_shook says:

    Let them play the Kazakhistan National Anthem, maximum respect

  16. MUM says:

    You are so right! We need to respect our flag and our country. We are very fortunate in this country. I, for one, appreciate it!

    By the way…. no beard. I saw your picture.


  17. Joe says:

    First I want to say that I love this country. Born and raised in U.S. I try to understand other people and the reason why they do and act in certain ways. I am here to defend these guys who do not physically put their hand over their heart at the playng of the national anthem. 1. maybe they are getting focused on the game and need to be MENTALLY peaked for competition. 2. maythey do not care 3. Finally, the reason why America is SO great, we can do anything we want as long as we don not break the law. Last time I checked, placing your hand over your heart and national anthems is not a legal requirement in this country..YET

  18. Robert says:

    I honestly enjoy a game every once in a while (if i had to pick a favorite sport I’d pick baseball), but it bothers me to see these people get paid so much for doing so little. They are paid absorbent amounts of money for throwing a ball in to a hoop. It makes me feel guilty handing tons of money for tickets. I think you deserve all your anger and frustration. You are watching a bunch of uneducated people and you expect them to fall perfectly in line with your civilized world. On the same note, I don’t put my hand on my heart because i think we have a bunch of religious retards running our country, but that is a different story.

  19. I guess the blog filtered out the quotes: here it is with the quotes:

    OK, I’m sorry. Maybe I see intentions where there are none, but one post seems to perpetuate some seriously false assumptions -assumptions that are all too common and were consciously engineered to divide us.

    Quote “In the forthcoming eras of increased irritation with politics and the government in general, patriotism is becoming more rare.>

    I don’t know that there is more or less patriotism than at other times -either does Issac; he’s just assuming. Patriotism is in the eye of the beholder for him -his eyes. Certainly those on the right side of the political spectrum see themselves as patriotic (they crow about it all the time) but they also actively promote the canard that anyone who disagrees with their President and his disastrous policies is, by definition, unpatriotic. I am an active volunteer on the left and I can tell you that everyone I volunteer with sees their work opposing this President and his party of enablers as incredibly patriotic.”

    Quote “When was the last time you all cried seeing the Vietnam Veteran’s Wall in Arlington? Or even a picture of it?If you didn’t, then you need to learn what those veterans and all veterans have gone through to guarantee the life you live. Say what you will about the current political situation, the state of the economy, etc. The fact is that we *still* have it better here than in other countries.”

    Oh, give me a break! Two erroneous assumptions here: One, that there are huge numbers of people who are unmoved and unappreciative of the sacrifices veterans have made. The constant implication from the right is always that lefties are those people. This is simple propaganda. I went to the wall, I cried and I am still profoundly moved every time I see it in pictures. I am even more affected by the actual sacrifices made by our veterans both dead and alive, in the past and in Iraq. The fact that I’d rather see soldiers alive here with their families rather than blown up in an elective war sold on lies and incompetently conducted for years does not in any way make me unpatriotic or unappreciative of anyone who would fight or has fought in our armed forces.

    The other false assumption is that people who question the conduct of this government are unpatriotic or unappreciative of the freedom and opportunity we have in our great country. In fact, it is a right and the duty of the citizen to question the government. It is no mistake the founders put freedom of speech in the very first amendment. Only a knowledgeable and involved citizenry, unafraid to challenge the government when it strays from our principles, can ensure freedom.

    I will always remove my hat and put my hand over my heart. And yes, it bugs me that filthy rich ball players -or anyone else- does not show respect -even if they have a right not to. It bugs me because it is this country and it’s founding principles I love -even if I believe the President and the GOP selfishly ignore those principles.

  20. I agree with many of those in the comments here. There just seems to be differences between my generation and those of the younger folks. Appreciating the US flag and what it stands for is part of being an American citizen.

  21. Daniel 3:15 says:

    I fear God more than I fear man.

    Maybe some people are patriotic, but as far as this action goes, it sounds too much like the idolatry that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego refused to do in Daniel 3:15-18, for which Nebuchadnezzar threw them into the fiery furnace.

    When you look at the what the law of the land is in the US Code about how the flag must be treated, and that the law says it’s a living thing, and also what Marc pointed out above, it may understandably sound too much like idolatry for some people… the flag being made an idol.

    Like in Daniel, it is basically illegal in the U.S. not to idolize the flag. We’re just not being thrown in a fiery furnace for it… yet.

    Just like in Dan 3:15, when you hear the music, you’re supposed to worship it. No. Theirs was signaled by music too, and it’s too much the same.

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